Thursday, July 19, 2018

Here We Go Again

Not my brain image but rather an example
*Note: I wrote this blog a few days ago but waited to post after some personal reflection.

It was March of 2015 and I just had my MRI after suffering an aura headache. By the time I could get back to Waupaca to visit my friend who suffered massive brain trauma in 2014, my neurologist was calling. When I answered they told me they found some abnormalities. This lead to my Multiple Sclerosis (MS) diagnosis. Fast forward just over 3 years and I find myself in this same situation. What was to be a routine annual MRI turned into something more. My neurologist knew of a debilitating headache I suffered in April of this year so he ordered an MRA as well. This exam was on Tuesday, July 9th. Before the day was over I received a phone call that has changed my life once again.

On that day my neurologist’s nurse told me they found some abnormalities and that the doctor would like to see me. I asked if they could just tell me because I do not do well with stress. She assured me she could not and that I could have the first appointment in the morning. Anytime you get the first appointment in the morning is a red flag to the severity of what one is dealing with. I am thankful to have a dear friend from my childhood that works in neurology. After messaging him for a bit, he put my mind at ease. In scenarios like this my mind tends to go to worse case scenario and I was just not ready for that. I am not sure anyone is ever ready for worse case scenario.

The next day arrived and with Noah by my side we walked into the doctor’s office to hear the news. I met with the nurse long enough for her to take my vitals and then she was gone. Within minutes my neurologist came in and asked how I was doing. I used medical terminology and said “I am a hot mess and freaking out a bit.” He went on to tell me that the headache I experienced in April was a brain hemorrhage. I have never in my life experienced a migraine like that before which included a fever, stiffness of neck and more. Now that I think of it, I am not sure how people that post on Facebook “I have a migraine” are even functional to type anything on any type of device. None the less he went on to tell me that I must be monitored very closely and that I must watch my blood pressure. When I asked him why, he proceeded to tell me that I have “outpouching” on my ACA A2 and PCA P1 branch in my brain. In laymen’s terms…aneurysms. 

Needless to say I was white as a ghost. While the doctor was telling me this news, my son Noah…intently watching Curious George on my iPhone simply leaned his little head on me. What do I do with this news? Where do I go from here? My doctor said if they get to be 5mm then a clip or coil would have to be put in. Now I know I have been dealing with high blood pressure so no doubt eating right and exercising will/should improve my problems. 

What a gut shot though to be nervous enough about any new changes with MS only to be told this news. I have walked this path before and I am so grateful for a very supportive wife as well. I find great strength in my family and God. I am reminded of the words of David in Psalm 91:1-2(NIV) “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Do I want to be healed? Absolutely! One thing life has taught me is that many MANY strong people of faith have “bombarded the gates of Heaven” with prayer only to be let down time and time again. It’s interesting when the healing doesn’t come that we say the person experienced the ultimate healing when they pass away. I am not trying to be a doom and gloom sort of person because I have literally seen someone brought back from the dead because “the prayers of the righteous are effective….”. None the less there are many others in scripture that had to walk a dark path…Jesus included. I am believing for a miracle…an instantaneous one would be amazing but I believe miracles come from medical professionals that God has given wisdom to. I also believe miracles can come through our own drive/faith that God has placed in each of us. 

So, I don’t like where I am at right now. I don’t like it at all in fact. I am ready to fight and stay positive on this one. I have begun exercising way more and eating way less (and sensibly). In a week I will be joining a gym to stay motivated and to continue to see pounds dropped. I am reminded of the words of the three Hebrew children (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) when confronted about their faith… “Even if……”. Even if the Lord should not bring the miracle I am looking for, I still won’t stop believing.

*Update, I have 9 pounds off since my diagnosis in hopes to bring my blood pressure down and to put less strain on my blood vessels.

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